Etikettarkiv: gloves

Dressed for Travelling, Hiking, and a Visit to the Opera

Packing for the trip through Germany

I really dread packing. My suitcase always seems too small and my clothes inevitably weigh too much. And then I throw in things that I might need and would regret if I hadn’t brought along. The luggage scale is my enemy.

Packing for our trip in Germany was a different challenge. We would be travelling by train and there were no limitations to weight or size, except for the fact that we would have to manage our luggage between trains and hotels. Augusta would probably have packed her outfits in a trunk. Porters and maybe “Lohnbediente” (servants for hire) would have taken care of the luggage.  I imagine that she would have carried a small bag with her on the train, in addition to a reticule or a small purse.

The first thing I did was to buy a new suitcase with a matching bag in an antique-looking paisley pattern.  I was not going to travel with my home-made carpet bag and hat boxes. And definitely, no trunks!

So what kind of clothes did I bring?

  1. One brown wool dress for hiking and inclement weather
  2. One green-and-yellow checkered heavy cotton dress for travelling
  3. Two skirts with white blouses and cardigans – all in thin cotton – for sunny weather
  4. One silk ball-gown for the opera visit and Kerstin’s birthday dinner
  5. One green wool pelerine (short cape covering the shoulders)
  6. Five shawls, three pairs of gloves, and three white collars
  7. Two bonnets and a cotton lace cap
  8. Two petticoats
  9. Pantaloons and silk stockings
  10. Walking shoes and shoes for the opera visit
  11. Emergency jeans, t-shirts, and a puffer jacket, just in case….

In addition, I brought a hand fan, an umbrella, a parasol, opera glasses, a reticule, an embroidered purse, jewelry, hat pins, and hair ribbons.

And then there were guide books, reading material, a diary, and a sketch book; wool for knitting, protein bars for days we might not easily find allergy-suitable food, and emergency kits. Not to mention, lots of safety pins.

And of course, what Augusta could not have dreamt of: iPhones, chargers, and extra batteries.

For the record, I didn’t bring my laced corset even though I spent a lot of time making one. I figured, no one would know and it isn’t a very comfortable piece of clothing.

 What to wear?

Getting dresses in the 1840s took time and one would need help with dresses that had hooks and eyes for closure in the back. One would also need help with braiding and putting up the hair in the style of the times.

Every morning, Kerstin and I picked clothing based on the weather. If it was going to rain or be chilly, the wool dress with a shawl was perfect. For train travelling, I preferred the green-and-yellow checkered cotton dress with the green pelerine. And on a few sunny days in Lubeck, I did have use for my cotton skirts.

So what did I learn?

Shawls are great!

The wool pelerine was very useful when it was drizzling and cold.

Bonnets are great when it is windy and cold.

Fingerless gloves are beautiful and perfect when using an iPhone.

Dupioni (silk), which we used in our ball gowns, is a great fabric – it is very light and it doesn’t wrinkle. Why aren’t more clothes made of this beautiful material?

Walking around in cotton pantaloons (I even bought a pair of flannel pajama paints from H&M – same thing really) under 2 starched petticoats and a dress or a skirt is great! With the layering, you are never too hot or cold. And I loved the rustling sound of the starched petticoats when walking!

One evening, when we had to find a restaurant in Berlin and it was raining, we decided to just put on jeans – returning to present time! There were four revelations: 1. Getting dressed took less than a minute, 2. Walking didn’t make any rustling sound, 3. You almost felt indecent not wearing a full length skirt and no head covering, and 4. You became invisible – you looked like the rest of the people on the sidewalks and no one took any notice of you.

What will I incorporate in my 2017 every-day wardrobe?

Definitely lots of shawls. Fingerless gloves. Clothes made of wool and silk. And when at home, definitely pajama pants!

Album of the wardrobe

The green-and-yellow checkered heavy cotton dress:
The brown wool dress:
The cotton skirts:
The dupioni-silk, ball gown worn at Semperoper in Dresden:
Gloves and a few accessories:
Shawls and bonnets

The Irish Gloves

Fingerless, Irish Crochet Lace Gloves
Fingerless, Irish Crochet Lace Gloves

During Augusta’s time, women in her circles would have worn gloves. Men also wore gloves – all the time. There were lots of etiquette rules about when you could take them off, how to take them off, and what to do with them when eating.

Fashion dictated the length, material, and color of the gloves.

And then there were fingerless gloves. Fingerless gloves were often knitted or crocheted, and light or white in color. They allowed the woman to write and embroider without having to remove her gloves. Another advantage was that she could wear and display any expensive rings she might have, while still being modest and elegant.

Eureka! Fingerless gloves would be perfect for texting – Kerstin and I could be modest and elegant and display our rings AND we could use our iPhones without having to remove our gloves according to some complicated etiquette rules!

What you need for your iPhone
What you need for your iPhone

Margie, my longtime friend and kindred spirit – always up for creative projects – had invited me over to her house for doing creative art. And, she had already done research on the kind of gloves I might need for Augusta’s Journey.

– Did you know that during the Irish Potato Famine, the women of Ireland resorted to producing beautiful crochet lace in order to help their families, and that Queen Victoria’s interest in the Irish crocheted lace made it fashionable in England?

I had no idea! I had only admired the interesting, 3-dimensional characteristics of Irish crochet.

Would any Irish crocheted lace have reached Sweden in the 1850s? Maybe.

Would I like to get a pair of such, fingerless gloves? Of course; I would love too!!!

Next week, Margie presented me with these beautiful, well-fitting, white lace gloves. She had even embellished them with 3-dimensional little Irish roses – all made in Irish Crochet! What a gift!

Little Irish Roses
Little Irish Roses

It will be great on the trip – I will be very fashionable while taking pictures with my iPhone. I might even be able to write a real letter with a quill pen without having to take them off!

Thanks Margie!